The Security, Migration and Development nexus in Agadez, Niger : An actor-based re-evaluation of its eality
Abstract: This thesis re-evaluates the connections between security, migration and development in the Sahel region. Using Agadez as the point of departure and focus, the thesis examines the roles played by local, regional as well as international actors to critique how the three concepts are not just understood on the global level, but also how they are applied at the local level where they are relevant. An actor based perspective is important becauseit helps to demonstrate that the nexus between security, migration and development is above all an issue of international politics more than it is of practical needs affecting local people, in this case, of the Sahel region. In this regard, this thesis theoretically enchors itself on the idea of political realism as advanced by Hans Morgenthau, which suggests that only the interests of the most powerful political actors will be reflected in any context where weaker and stronger actors interact. From this perspective, the thesis argues that the nexus between security, migration and development plays out in the Sahel in ways that serve strong actors such as France, the European Union, and the United States of America at the expense of weaker actors such as Niger, the G5, ECOWAS, and the local communities themselves. Analytically, this thesis uses the concept of human security to push the above point even further. It argues that from the perspective of human security, it is clear that actors involved in the Sahel, including humanitarian actors such as the United Nations and the International Organisation for Migration, are seldom primarily forcused on the concerns of both the local communities and migrants in Agadez. By mainly focusing themselves with stopping South-North migration, as well as limiting their focus on 'security' and 'development' issues in transit countries such as Niger and Mali, the main actors in the Sahel commit a dual travesty on migrants and their communities, including those they transit through. Empirically, they turn a blind eye on the actual causes and consequences of migration and various forms of security deficiencies not just in Agadez, but in the migration source countries in the rest of West Africa. The thesis demonstrates why even the development strategies imposed on Agadez and surrounding areas fail because they miss this larger point.
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